Opinion: Columbus Day should be outlawed

The truth about Columbus, and why the celebration is flawed

Columbus Day: the one day of the year when the entirety of the United States celebrates one man who in reality, corrupted millions of native lives, “discovered” previously-marked territory, and committed crimes that cannot begin to be justified. This American holiday should no longer be celebrated and should be abolished immediately. 

It is easy to construct the wrong idea about Columbus growing up; it’s inevitable by how people talk about him. Most people think of Columbus as “the man who discovered America,” and move on with their thoughts. The way his portrait is plastered to classroom walls and his name is marked in tiny writing at the bottom of your calendar is enough to think he was a decent explorer. However, analyzing history makes it easy to realize Columbus is no man worth closing the banks for. 

In reality, Christopher Columbus was anything but a triumphant discoverer. The initial purpose of his famous journey was to try and sail to India for economic gain. However, Columbus mistakenly landed in the Bahamas thinking he was in India; he wrongfully named the Native American people “Indians.” 

A common belief is that Columbus colonized and discovered America and should therefore win praise as the man who founded the country we live in, but this idea is wrong. Merriam-Webster’s definition of discovery is the act of finding or learning something for the first time. The Native American people had lived in this land for many years before Columbus’s arrival.

Have you ever considered that you are celebrating the wrong person on Columbus day? We have alternatives that celebrate positive ideals of ethnic diversity and inclusivity. All Columbus Day represents is the recurrence of painful memories for Indigenous people and a celebration of the man who caused all of this anguish. 

Wouldn’t it make more sense to celebrate the peaceful people, to spread cultural awareness of the Indigenous people? Baley Champagne helped push for Louisiana to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. 

“By bringing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’re bringing awareness that we’re not going to allow someone like that to be glorified into a hero, because of the pain he caused to Indigenous people of America,” Champagne said.

The benefits of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day outweigh the drawbacks significantly. Christopher Columbus killed Native Americans because he wanted control over their land; the land we now inhabit.